Tuesday, October 31, 2006

When a Man Loves a Woman Who Loves Pets

What to do? What to do? Rob and I came up with a lovely compromise. The truth is, we don't need any more pets. We have our share and more. I love animals. I can't turn a blind eye to a stray. However, I realistically can't afford to take in any more animals long term.

Farms are all around us. People drop off cats constantly at these farms. Pregnant females, kittens, etc. They end up flea infested, worm infested, mite infested, and people assume that the farmers will be able to feed and provide for them. Sadly, most of these cats die young or just keep having more kittens. It really is too bad.

I know I can't afford to step in and have these kittens spayed or nuetered or even take them to the vet. Usually our animal control will not come pick up stray cats, only stray dogs, and the shelter is closed by the time I get off and get home.

Even if I could afford to bring in more kittens, on a long term basis, the cat population on these farms is going to continue to grow out of control. I know, I know, I am starting to sound like Bob Barker here. I just feel sad for helpless creatures without power of their own to make it in life.

The way many kids are, even mine, after animals aren't puppies or kittens, they lose interest to a degree. Moms or Dads end up doing all the feeding, watering, and care. The kids give the pet an occasional pat on the head, and that's the end of that. That's why I look like a Pied Piper in the yard, with two (or more) cats and four dogs following me every move I make. Because I'm the one who gives the affection, the food, and the attention.

So, a perfect solution has been proposed, and is working well for us so far. We go to the farm, ask for a kitten (readily given!) and take it home. The first stop is a flea bath and flea treatment (very inexpensive since I have a dealer who provides me with discounted supplies) de-miting and de-worming. We then spend the next week or so handling the little one, loving and grooming and making sure it is litter box trained.

Then, off they go at the end of one or two weeks to be given to an associate of mine who has a pet store. There they are cared for until a family comes to buy them (at a very nominal charge.) I tend to find that anyone who would spend money for a kitten will value its life a bit more. I am sure that they have a better chance for a good life than being caught in the trap of overbreeding, which would otherwise be their fate.

Ideally, if I had all sorts of money to throw around- which I don't- I could take one kitten at a time to be "fixed." This is an alternative that makes me feel like I'm helping the helpless...and pacifying my budget and my husband at the same time.

This little guy was our first trial kitten. He was very skinny, lethargic and flea infested at first. At the end of the week he was plump and happy and playful. It was a rewarding experience. He's already found a home, which is exciting for me.

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One last photo...Jo...as Batman. Isn't he just as stinkin' cute as I said? ;)

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Oh yeah...

I started a new blog of sorts. It's just a place where I am going to drop my thoughts about getting healthy. It's titled, "Reasons to Work Out." Perhaps it's my fitness journal, in blog form.

Anyway, it's not going to be anything earth shattering at this point. It's just me trying to motivate myself to get fit.

That's why it's called, www.motivatingmyself.blogspot.com. Eventually, I'll add it to my link list. Until then, just thought I'd let you know it's there.

Have a great day!

I've Been Up and Down and Over and Out.....

I came in to work today feeling like I was going to burst into tears at any given moment.

I woke up today, and one of our dogs tore up bagged leaves all over the yard. I had spent some of my imaginary spare time putting them in those cute "pumpkin" yard bags Saturday. The bags were shredded, and the leaves were blown right back into their original mess.

Not only that, the trash cans got knocked over and trash is everywhere, too. I didn't have time to stop right then and pick stuff up, because I was already running late to work.

The kids argued as usual, getting on the bus.

I was not at home enough to get laundry caught up this weekend, so I played, "Find a decent outfit" this a.m., which I hate. I like having all my outfits ready to go on Monday morning, enough for the entire week.

The time change has me feeling out of sorts, money has me uptight, blah, blah, blah.

On and on, etc, etc, etc. I could formulate a list so long of stuff that is stressful in my life right now that it would bore you to tears. Then it would be two of us that felt like crying on Monday!

However, I looked outside and it's 65 degrees here. There isn't a cloud to be seen in the sky. It's a wonderful day.

I decided, "that's it, I'm going for a walk." I had a few things to pick up from town, so instead of driving, I walked. It felt great.

The breeze blew my hair everywhere. I was so happy to get away from everything and everybody that on my way back, I was smiling like I had just won the lottery. I know people had to think I was a few bricks shy of a load, but I don't care!

It was so nice to be out of the office, out of the house, out of the toy shop, out of what can feel like prison! It rained all last week! I now understand why people feel so dark and depressed in cities where it rains so often! Ugh!

Sigh. That walk was just what I needed.

I prayed on the way back. I didn't ask for anything. I didn't ask for help with my life, I didn't ask for God to take away my stress, I didn't mention world events, I didn't ask for forgiveness for anything, I didn't even lift up my friends' problems during my walk. I just moved along, saying, "Thank you, Jesus, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus. Thank you, thank you, thank you." And I meant it.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Good Memories of Octobers Past....

I was just telling J.F. on his most recent blog post, that I am a big chicken. I am not in to being scared.

Don't get me wrong, I am not a big chicken about a lot of things. I'm not really afraid of heights, I once had my picture taken with a 10 foot long boa constrictor around my neck, and I'm the one watching nature shows saying, "I'd hold that tarantula. No big deal."

But I am a big chicken where scary movies are concerned. Especially ones about serial killers. Certain scary movies I can watch and say, "that wasn't scary at all!" Like "Secret Window." I didn't find that scary, just interesting. I would watch it again and again. But other movies haunt me and give me nightmares for weeks.

Take for example "Silence of the Lambs." When it first came out, I was a new mom. Josh was only like six weeks old. Rob's friend, Russ, and his wife, Nicky, asked us to go to the movies with them. I was happy to get out for the night, so we had Robert's mom watch Josh, and we went.

We were standing around the theatre lobby, trying to decide what to watch. Russ and Nicky wanted to watch "Silence of the Lambs." I didn't want to appear to be a big chicken, so I said, "Sure!" Rob pulls me aside and says, "Kris, are you sure about this? You know how freaked out you get by scary movies." I was determined not to be a spoil sport. "No problem! It's just a movie!" I insisted.

So, we went in and watched the movie. I should have listened to Rob! That movie freaked me out so bad that I didn't want to leave the house for a week! Every single middle aged white guy around me I had pegged as a serial killer! I was totally paranoid! I looked over my shoulder constantly, was ready to poke someone's eyes out with my keys, and I parked as far away from vans as I could. So, I'm not really into horror movies. Suspense, okay, maybe. Horror: no.

Even as a kid, I don't remember ever going trick or treating as anything scary. One year I was a hot dog! ;) My grandmother was an accomplished seamstress. She made me look like a real hot dog....kind of like the costumed people you see standing outside of food establishments, holding up ads for the business. It had wires inside and the whole nine yards. It had mustard and ketchup on it that looked real! ;) I couldn't sit down in it, but that was just a minor logistical snafoo.

Another year, I was a clown, and one of my last years I went as Boy George. Oh boy! So I was a girl dressed up as a man who dressed like a woman. HA! Only in the 80's. ;)

One time I was down the road at my friend's house, watching one of the "Freddy" movies. Again, trying not to be the spoil sport. It was me, my brother, my friend, and her brother. The movie was almost over and my friend's brother yawned and said, "Boy, am I tired. I'm sorry, but I have to hit the hay." So, we barely even looked up, and kept watching the movie. We just assumed he went to bed.

It was late, and dark, and time for us to be home. So my brother and I set out to walk the country road back to our house. It was only about 8-9 houses down, maybe 1/4 of a mile. However, it was pitch dark and spooky. Every owl in North America was hooting away, I think. We swore we could hear wolves howling in the distance.

Right across from my friend's house was a deep ditch, then a big open field, which was used as a neighborhood ball field. (The one my dad was playing in when he tore up his leg.)

Anyway, we were just passing that field when my friend's brother jumped out of the ditch with a hockey mask on and bellowed something incoherent at the top of his lungs.

I swear to you, we ran home so fast we probably couldn't have been detected on radar! I think it took me an hour for my heart to stop racing. I know our friend the prankster was probably still laughing in the ditch long after we were home.

So, that's it for now. More later.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

My Baby is Sooo Stinkin' Cute!

I know it's sounds like I'm bragging....actually, I am bragging.

My eight year old, who will be nine in a few weeks, is still very much a mommy's boy. And a daddy's boy. He doesn't like to be away from us much. I must confess, I don't mind that at all.

I have two teenagers who are determined to go their own way, and only call on mom if they need something. I stayed at home with them when they were babies and toddlers most of the time. They were born 17 months apart, and were delightful babies! When I did work, Rob and I worked it out so that we worked different shifts, and one of us was always home with them. They've never had a babysitter or been in daycare. When someone watched them other than us, it was always a family member.

When Jess was little, she was very sick. I had to give her three breathing treatments a day, as well as treatments to keep her lungs clear. This involved pounding on her back in various places for 1/2 hour three times a day with a rubber "thumper," as we called it. At first her pulmonary specialist thought she had cystic fibrosis. Thank God, she did not. Two surgeries corrected her problems, and she is in perfect health today.

Anyway, it's not always easy watching them grow more and more independent. I know it's in their best interest not to squelch their growing independence. It won't be too much longer that they'll be out on their own. I want them to be able to spread their wings and soar.

But, I'll confess that it is nice to have one child who is still happy to be under his parents' wings.

I'm actually getting to my point, here.

We found a really cool Batman costume for Jo that was on clearance for $9. The evil empire, Walmart, really does help us out sometimes. :)

Anyway, it lights up, has built in "muscles," and the cape attaches to the mask. It's super cool.

Jo really loves it! Every day after school he comes home, races into the house and puts it on. He leaves it on until bedtime. He runs and plays outside with it on. He eats his dinner with it on. He rides with me to pick up the other two from their various activities with it on.

He really looks adorable in it. He has the perfect eyes and mouth for the suit.

However, his older brother and sister are not amused by his antics. They try to talk him out of wearing it. They tell him it makes him look silly to wear it everywhere. They tell him he will get it too dirty to wear for Halloween. They tell him he's going to tear it up. They tell him they don't want to be seen by their friends with a little brother running around in a Batman suit weeks before Halloween.

He doesn't care. No amount of their teasing will convince him to take it off. He's happy, because this weekend, his job at our toy shop is to hand out candy while wearing his suit. He's all excited about that!

Rob asked him, "Who are you Jo?" and Jo said, "Batman." in a very matter of fact voice. Rob says, "No, no, you can't just say, 'Batman,' like that! You've got to say it with style!" So, they spent the next few minutes practicing saying it.....

"Who are you?"

"I'm....Batman!" (Theatrical whispered tone, as in the movie, 'Batman Returns,' I think it was.)

It's just too stinkin' cute for words! ;)

I've got to get a picture of him in this suit. Seeing is believing.

Hope you're having a good day there, and that all of the evil villains in your life are tied up on the rooftop, thwarted by a masked super hero. :) I know mine are!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What about Bob?

Well, I ran to the end of the fence. When I got there, I figured I might as well run to the end of the road. When I got there, I figured I might as well run to the end of the county.....

That's me. I get started, and I'm off! Washing a window turns into washing the house. Writing a poem turns into writing a collection of poetry made up of 100 poems. So, in keeping with my inability to stop while I'm ahead.... ;) here is the rest of the story about my dad, Bob.

Bob, as I mentioned, was the baby of the family. Part of Bob's problem is/was when he was a teenager, my grandmother, Mildred, (his mother) received a sizeable inheritance from her dad's estate.

A little history: When my great-grandparents (Carl and Grace) got divorced back in the 30s, it was unheard of. Leading up to the divorce, they lost a baby at birth. Right after that, the second youngest child died of blood poisoning at eight years old. Carl wanted to keep having children. Grace did not want to have any more children.

The stress of it broke them down, and they divorced. Mildred was ten years old at the time, and she was the youngest living child. She told me she remembered feeling like an outcast among her peers. No one in her class had divorced parents.

All of my grandmother's siblings stayed with Grace. Mildred went with her dad, Carl. Later on, she admitted that it was only because she felt sorry for him. Carl was an angry, strict, legalistic man. When Mildred was 14, she moved to another county to clean cottages with her mom. At 17, she married my grandfather (Harry) and started her own family.

So, we fast forward to Bob's teenage years. His two older brothers were out of the house and on their own. He, born 9 months to the day that my grandfather returned from WWII, was the only child left at home. When Carl passed away, he left Mildred everything he had. He did not leave his other kids anything. He held a grudge for all those years ago when none of them went with him when the divorce took place. There was a pretty good chunk of change that Mildred received.

So, basically, she spent a good amount of it pampering Bob. When Bob was little, the doctors thought he had leukemia. It turned out to be a treatable blood disorder, but he missed a whole year of school and my grandparents were sure they were going to lose him.

So whatever Bob desired, he got. He was 21 when he finally got a license to drive a car. He wasn't especially motivated to do anything, because everything was handed to him.

When Bob was 21 he was playing football in a local field. While running, his leg went down in to a rabbit hole. His body went forward, but his leg remained stationary. He tore all the ligaments and tendons up and down his leg.

This injury required surgery. In the hospital, he met my mother, Arlene. She was a nursing assistant. She had been raised in a children's home, and as part of their work/schooling program, she had secured a job at the hospital.

When Bob was released from the hospital, Arlene continued to see him and take care of him. Bob almost died when a blood clot hit his lung as a result of the surgery. Everyone, again, was worried that they were going to lose him.

Arlene pampered Bob. He ate it up. She spoiled him and cared for him to the point that it even annoyed my grandfather. He accused Bob of making Arlene his personal maid. When Bob healed, he and Arlene got married and struck out on their own.

According to all of the accounts from my Aunt Marlene and even dad's older brother, Ron, Bob spent the five years of he and Arlene's married life living it up. She worked, they partied, he let her support them both. He didn't contribute even when my brother came along. From time to time he was even physically abusive to Arlene. If she asked about whether or not he had applied for any jobs, he would slap her. Her job was to take care of him and not ask any questions.

Bob had dreams. He had talent. He was going to be a guitar player and be famous. Everything else was secondary.

After their divorce and after his incarceration, he was released.

What to do with his life now? His parents had his kids, so he was free to live his life the way he wanted.

The only problem was money. That, too, was soon a non-issue. My grandparents had just finished paying out of pocket for my brother and I to have our tonsils removed. They were still working out the kinks in regard to getting us covered by Grandpa's insurance. At that point, due to an administrative error, (the adoption having just taken place) the reimbursement check was made out to my dad instead of my grandparents. Imagine his luck when he checked the mail and discovered this! Several thousand dollars was right in his hand to do with what he liked!

He went off to the bank and cashed the check, secured a plane ticket to Florida, and said goodbye to Ohio.

My grandparents were hurt and angry, but didn't have the heart to prosecute their own son.

So, off he went.

A couple years passed, and he didn't find fame in fortune in Florida. Just some good party spots, women willing to take care of him, and a pretty decent tan.

When he grew bored with that, he came back to Ohio. It would have been better for my brother and I emotionally if he would have stayed gone.

He moved in down the road from us. He came over to watch baseball on Sundays and to to have Sunday dinner. He pretty much ignored us and was clearly irritated any time we sought his attention. He would come and go, often making promises to be there for events or birthdays. More often than not, my brother and I were left standing at the window, waiting for him to show up, and he usually did not.

Eventually, he moved to the nearest city and started drinking himself into a stupor. His neighbor came to check on him one day, and he was near death with pneumonia. She nursed him back to health (anyone see a pattern here?) and eventually they got married.

His new wife was the best thing that ever happened to him. He stopped drinking, started holding down a job. In fact, he even adopted her 2 year old daughter. A few years later, they had a son together.

He actually started taking an interest in our lives. He kept us on weekends on occasion. He suddenly started remembering birthdays. We actually got Christmas presents from him. We thought going to his house was cool, because he didn't have any rules and he had cable. Music videos! Who could compete with that? They even took us to the drive in a couple of times.

When I was about 12 or 13, he brought us home several hours after he had promised my grandparents he would have us home. A huge argument ensued, and my grandparents decided it was in our best interest that we not see him anymore.

We were crushed. At the time, we didn't understand any of it. All we knew, is we wouldn't get to see our baby brother anymore. No more music videos and staying up late.

My brother left home the day before he turned 18. I felt totally alone and abandoned. We had gone through so much together, and he left without looking back.

So when I was about 16, I started sneaking to see Dad and his family. I was sure my grandmother was to blame for everything, and that she was just too angry to see that Dad was really a good man. Without my brother in my life, I longed to be close to someone.

Time passed, and I also ended up leaving home the day before I turned 18. I moved in with Rob, and within weeks we decided to move to South Carolina, where Rob's mom lived at the time. His uncle and aunt also lived there, as his uncle was stationed at the military base there.

Once I got there, I was about a month pregnant and homesick, miserable and shellshocked. We were both working, and I was meeting new people, but I was out of my element. Many people were friendly until they realized I was with a black man. I was not used to the way things were done there. I wanted to come back home, where at least I knew who my true friends were.

So, Rob's sister took me home, and I stayed with a friend of mine for a few weeks. Rob stayed behind to keep working and pack our belongings.

Living with my friend turned out to be inconvenient. She lived in the middle of nowhere, and I had no car. I figured continuing my prenatal care would be easier if I lived in town. So, I called my dad and he agreed to let me move in....if I paid him $50 a month. Here is a man who never raised me and didn't pay a dime of child support, but I had to pay him to stay with him for a few months. Okay. Makes sense in a parallel universe, I guess.

When Rob returned from South Carolina, he went back to his old job, moved in with a friend, and we began to save for an apartment. I would take a cab across town to see him a couple of times a week. Or he would come visit me.

Toward the end of my pregnancy, Dad called a "family meeting," and announced that he felt my seeing Robert was a "bad influence on his 14 year old daughter." (It isn't like he didn't know I was pregnant when I moved in!) That I would have to stop seeing Robert or move out.

What really irked me about it, is that his daughter was far more experienced than I was, even at the age she was! She had been sneaking around with boys for two years! I kept my mouth shut, and a few weeks after Josh was born, Rob and I had our own place.

During the time I was pregnant and living with Dad, his wife (Joyce) treated me like gold. She would sneak me money, buy baby clothes when she could find them on sale, she bought me maternity clothes and was there for me during a very stressful time in my life.

This type of support continued after I moved out and throughout my adulthood. When I was in labor with all three kids, Joyce was my labor coach. If I needed a sitter, she was delighted to volunteer. She was more of a grandma to the kids than Bob ever was a grandfather.

The beginning of the end of my relationship with Bob came about seven years ago. We were getting ready to buy our first house, and the rental property we lived in was a huge, older home. All the windows were painted shut, and it did not have central air. I was talking on the phone to Joyce about the situation, and she said, "You know, there's an old air conditioner out in the garage that someone gave your dad. We don't need it, because we have central air. I'll ask him what he plans to do with it. I'm sure he'll just give it to you." Well, no. He offered to sell it to us for $100.

I could go on and on about these issues....actually, I already have. But sufficed to say I DO harbor ill will toward Bob. When Grandma was sick and in the nursing home, he did step in and come see her every week. (At my urging.) He did treat her well at that point. So, in my mind's eye, that does redeem him to some degree.

However, after her death, he was pushing me to sell her house, even though we wouldn't have gained more than two or three hundred dollars each after her estate was settled. He balked at signing the papers so I could buy the house. As the executrix, I was to decide who got what from the contents of the house. I gave him all the antique living room furniture, and he still drug his feet on signing the papers.

The final straw caused Rob put his foot down. He said that over the years he had watched Bob use and manipulate everyone around him. After this last incident, he didn't want to have anything more to do with Bob, no matter what the circumstance.

When we bought Grandma's house, Dad called me and told me that his car was repoed because he had gotten behind on the payments. Could I help? Did I have a car he could borrow or did I know of someone selling a car real cheap? The only thing I did have was a little bit of money in the bank, that I had been saving in case we needed a down payment to buy Grandma's house. I didn't end up needing it for that purpose, so I offered to loan him $500.

He stood in my office and agreed to pay me back when he got his income tax. Every year, he gets the same sizeable return. Every year, he e-files and gets his check in February. I knew this, and he confirmed it. I told him not to worry about paying me a dime until February. He thanked me time and again, and assured me he would pay me promptly. Rob said I had a good heart, and that he knew I was a good woman for still trusting Dad after all he had put me through. We both knew there was a chance that Dad would not pay us back, but we figured it was best to take the high ground.

February came and I had to be off work for surgery. Money was tight, my budget was falling apart. Did Bob come through with the money? You guessed it. No, not even after several desperate calls from me.

So, I decided to stop calling. I no longer make any attempt to contact Bob, nor has he tried to contact me. I don't hate him, but I don't have any desire to have a relationship with him.

So, that's the "Bob" story.

I ran to the end of the county, and then I figured, "I might as well run to the end of the state." Now that I've run that far, I'm tired. And that's all I have to say about that. :)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Answering Some of my Own Questions

This is not a pity party, but it might be a reality check:

If you know me, you may know some of the following about me:

I was four months old when my birth mother left my father. He was suddenly stuck with me and my 3 year old brother.

My father couldn't handle us. He had parties to go to, drugs and alcohol to consume, and women to do all of the above with.

So, for awhile, he tried to keep it a secret that he wasn't doing so well. He would find someone to watch us...anyone. It might be an acquaintance or a friend of a friend's mom or just whoever he could charm into the task. He'd drop us off and leave us for a "few hours." A few days later, the impromptu sitter would be calling around frantically, trying to find him. I'd be sick or out of diapers or my brother might need medical care. We'd be out of clean clothes and I'd be out of formula.

Eventually, he'd turn up and take us somewhere else. Several times he left us completely alone for hours while he went to play basketball or tennis or party.

Finally, word of his behavior got back to his parents. They stepped in and took us in. He was all too relieved. When my grandmother insisted that he bring our clothes and blankets and toys, he brought in bag after bag of dirty laundry. Most of the clothing she had to toss. It was bug infested and most of the clothes were unsalvageable.

I was twenty-two months old when my grandparents intervened. I was not walking. My ankles were weak...a doctor had told my dad to get special shoes for my feet, which he did not do. Most of the time when he had me, I was strapped in a high chair or left in a play pen.

Within weeks, with better shoes on my feet and a little encouragement, I was walking. However, the alignment of my feet was not right. My new doctor told my grandparents that they should have my legs broken and reset. They did not have the heart to do that. Today, my ankles curve in and as a result, I have bulging disks and back pain from the improper alignment.

But I had some security. Stability. I had food to eat, which, according to my brother, had been rare up until that time. He told stories of us eating dog and cat food when the hunger pains became too much for us.

We now had a good diet of fresh, home grown vegetables. We had a big, fenced in yard in the country to run and play in. We had all kinds of kitty cats to love on and cuddle with. We didn't have to worry about having to move from house to house. We had toys and clean clothes and stability.

When I was three, my dad went to prison for drug possession. He signed over his custodial rights to my grandparents. By then, my mother was remarried and had started a new family (which she would later walk out on, also). A hearing was held to offer her the chance to regain custody of my brother and myself. She did not attend, so, as a result, she forfeited her rights to us. My grandparents legally adopted my brother and I when I was five years old.

I say, again, we had security. We had stability. We had food, shelter, clothing, toys, and many advantages that we previously lacked. My grandparents did what they did out of love, I believe. However, neither or them really understood how to nurture a child emotionally.

My grandmother resented "giving up her retirement" to raise "someone else's children." She constantly let us know that.

Every day we were reminded that:
"We didn't have to take you kids. You'd better consider yourselves lucky. Your grandfather and I had plans that we put to the side for you ungrateful kids."

I do not remember ever getting a hug or a kiss from her growing up. She was a strict disciplinarian. She had an explosive temper. We were afraid to cross her. This was made worse by the fact that she was going through the change of life. Her mood swings would often result in violent outbursts. Either we would hide in fear or have chunks of our hair pulled out of our heads. Often we would have anxiety issues when we were about to get off the bus, wondering what kind of mood she was in.

When she was in a good mood, times were good. She baked lovely cakes and read to us; she would take us shopping. Even though I didn't understand it at the time, my brother was scorned far more than I was. You see, she had three boys of her own. She never had the girl she dreamed of having. I was that girl that she always wanted. I was a feminine version (looks-wise) of my dad (her youngest) with reddish gold, curly locks and dainty dresses. She would spend hours picking out patterns and hand sewing dresses to make me look like a little doll.

However, my brother looked like my birth mother, who was my grandmother's biggest source of anger. Grandma resented my mother for leaving us, leaving my dad, ruining her plans for the rest of her life. She took her anger out on my brother a great deal as a result.

My grandfather: a gentle, quiet man, sought only to keep the peace with Grandma. Most of my childhood he sat behind a newspaper, saying nothing. Or he worked long hours, even working two jobs after his regular job forced him and all of his department to take early retirement. If he wasn't at work or behind the paper, he was in his woodshop, making swings to sell.

On the rare times we were out alone, we had such fun with him! On Fridays, Grandma would get her hair done. Grandpa would take us to the park and push us on the swings, and run and laugh with us. At my brother's little league games, he would buy us candy, and we would all act silly and have a great time. When we went home, he retreated back into his shell.

I know children learn what they live. This upbringing taught me both good and bad things. I do see some major blessings that came out of my childhood. My Sunday School teacher all through my childhood was a psychologist. Often, it was just she and I alone, talking. After our lesson, we talked and as a result, I got free counseling from a wise Christian lady. She helped me cope, taught me to not take too much to heart.

What I did learn to do was to try not to inconvenience people. I ended up being a people pleaser. I have a lot of friends. I have good friends. However, I never have been good at asking for help if I need it. I have a hard time accepting help from people.

The most negative thing I learned from my Grandmother was, "I am not worth your time." As a result, that has been a struggle for me. I often accept less and do more. I end up caught up in being a giver until I exhaust my own internal resources. When I am sick or need a break, I don't stop until I am too sick to lift up my head.

The worst thing someone can say to me is "you let me down." I don't think I could handle hearing that.

That's MY thought process that needs changing. I need to learn to set boundaries and stop thinking that whatever people do or say that is hurtful is okay. I have to stop feeling so insecure, thinking if I left my job, I would make a shamble of any new venture. I know I am intelligent, but I have a hard time letting go of things. I don't transition well unless change is forced on me. I'm the one who will be "beating a dead horse," long after other people would have quit.

What good came out of my upbringing? Like I said, I have a lot of friends. I am reliable. Very reliable. I love animals and I love to read. There were many things my Grandmother taught me that I will always cherish.

In the end, in the last few months before she passed, she became a peaceful, sweet woman. She hugged and kissed me. She told me she loved me. Her spirit softened. So, God granted me some lovely last days with Grandma. I don't harbor any bitterness toward her. I know at the time she was raising us, there was a great deal of pressure on her shoulders, and not a lot of resources. There wasn't Prozac back then, and going for mental health counseling was frowned upon in her generation. She was angry, and didn't know where to turn.

This post is just to tell you, everyone has a reason for why they are the way they are. Some people might look like they have it all together, but the truth is, very few do. We all struggle, we all find ways to cope.

In my life, I've had some times when I coped very well with what I faced. There were times when I was one step from the edge of oblivion. So, if you're going through pain, depression, indecision, loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, fear, anxiety...whatever, know this: I've been there. By the grace of God I am surviving day by day. With each new day, I take a deep breath and try to keep going. It's all I can do. You know?

A Disclaimer

I just want to say before I get any more emails, I WASN'T TRYING TO HURT ANYONE'S FEELINGS...or throw any stones... BY POSTING THE PREVIOUS BLOG ENTRY!

In fact, that post was more directed at me, as a reminder of my own emotional ups and downs than anyone else's! I was the one who posted a post called, "I'm on a roller coaster ride, want to come?" just a few days ago. It was simply my way of dumping thoughts on this site....to get them off my chest...and on to my online journal. My sounding board. My place to leave my thoughts......

I love my friends! I hate when they go through hard times! I cry for them! I drive home, thinking about their pain and my heart hurts for them. I debate about what they're going through and mull it over.

Again: the post was not meant to be judge-y. Just observation-y.

Some Deep Thoughts

I have been doing some thinking (that's always dangerous for me) about something a friend of mine is going through. While I am not going to go in to details about the circumstances, this friend's situation has made me do a lot of reflecting about my own life.

I once had a pastor who I truly admired. Okay, I've had a few pastors that I admired. But this one seemed to love life more than most....was always glowing, energetic. He loved God and people, and he had some interesting ideas. His enthusiasm was contagious. He was confident, and truly seemed like a happy individual. He loved his wife, kids, and grandkids, and clearly, they all adored him as well.

It was a small church, and he made the time to meet individually at his office with anyone who was interested in being involved in the ministry...whether it be sending cards or working with kids or conducting a study or whatever. We ended up having I think 8 or 10 weeks of bible study, which often ended up to be simply talks about why we believed what we did. I made the decision to follow the teachings of Christ when I was 3 years old. Some may say that's too young to make such a decision, but I tell you I remember the moment, and I knew exactly what I was deciding. But that's another post for another day. It's this pastor's words that are echoing through my heart and mind today.

So many of my friends are going through some emotional times. Blogger friends, old friends, new friends, etc. In fact, I go through so many ups and downs emotionally myself that I am sure to get motion sickness one day from all the tossing back and forth of my feelings.

One day I feel like my husband is a total hunk, my hero, my Great Love of my charmed life; the next day I wonder what on earth I was ever thinking by staying with him for 16+ years?! I wonder "who is this guy?" and I can barely stand to look at him. My life is crap and he is the Chief Crap Shoveler, and my misery in life is 89.9% HIS fault.

A few days later, I feel like sqeezing him and never letting go. I feel so blessed to have him, I am sure I can see butterflies dancing about the halo on his handsome head.

So, where is this whole thought process going?

What this pastor said was this:

Thoughts are very powerful. Look around you. Everything you see with your eyes started as a thought. The keyboard, the phone, the can of pop or even the pencil on your desk had to first start with a thought. From there, the thought grew. If the thought hadn't been born, that item would never exist.

It's like the expression: "Why, you were just a twinkle in your daddy's eye at that time." Truly, even our children exist because of a thought. ;)

Unfortunately, our thought processes can't always be trusted because they're guided by emotions. Our emotions are based too much on circumstances.

Think of it this way:

It's the end of July. All week long, it's been a muggy 90 degrees. The a/c has been running full blast in both your car and house. In fact, you break out in a sweat just after you get dried off from your shower. It's sweltering. It's Tuesday, and you wonder how you'll make it through the rest of week in the heat. You feel like getting out of your car and running through every lawn sprinkler you pass by on your drive home from work.

On Wednesday morning, you wake up, leave the house and it's 50 degrees outside. It's a shock to your system. What do you say? Most likely, you say, "Wow! It's cold!" You might go back inside the house, throw on some warmer clothes and maybe even a jacket if you have one handy. Right?

Skip forward to January. All week, it's been hovering around 15 degrees with a wind chill factor that makes it feel like 2 below. By Friday, you're ready to invest in some socks that are heated by battery. You would like nothing more than to sit in front of a warm fire all day and sip hot chocolate.

So, Saturday morning you get up and open up your back door to see what the day is like. Much to your amazement, it's 50 degrees outside! What do you say? "Oh my gosh, it's hot out here! Woo-hoo!" If you can find a pair of shorts, you're gonna put those puppies on today! You fling off your coat, and drive around doing your errands with the windows down.

Is the 50 degrees any different in July or January? No. It's the same 50 degrees, no matter what month it is. 50 degrees is 50 degrees. It was only our perception of the 50 degrees that made it FEEL different.

When he was sharing this with me, it was like a light bulb went on in my head.

Why are some people content and happy in a given situation, while others in the exact same situation are unhappy?

It's all about perception.

How do I perceive myself? How do I perceive others? How does what I think about myself impact how I live my life? Does my thinking about myself need to change in order for me to live a successful, contended life?

Food for thought....

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday, Friday, Friday!

I made it! It's here! I am so glad!

Ugh! What a week! Ten more hours, and my work week shall be over. Yay!

I forgot to mention something good that happened yesterday. On Wednesday night, I was talking to Rob and I said, "Tomorrow I have decided I'm going to stop and get breakfast before I go to work. I've been telling myself that I should all week, and I let time get away from me. But on Thursday, I'm going to! I never get anything to eat before I start my work day, and I am going to make it a priority."

That's all I said about it, and he didn't say anything much in reply.

Yesterday came along, and as usual, I was dragging my feet, and let time get away. I didn't get any breakfast. Big shock there!

So, around 8:30 in the morning, Rob called. He usually calls a couple of times a day to see how I'm doing. Or, sometimes he stops by around lunchtime, because our jobs are less than a mile apart in town. Anyway, he called and said, "Did you ever get any breakfast?"

I laughed and told him no, that as usual, I was running late. He said okay, and we chatted for a few more minutes and hung up.

A half an hour later I was out at my desk, and I saw the van pull up. Out he comes with a plastic bag. In it is all kinds of breakfast foods...bottled orange juice and cranberry juice, a breakfast "pizza," (no tomato) and a breakfast sandwich. So, I have food and a drink left over for today, also.

He only gets a fifteen minute break at nine. So, he had to rush to get there and bring me that stuff, and rush out. I felt like crying, because I realize that this kind of behavior is not out of the ordinary for him. I was smiling when he drove off, and I could see him smiling back at me as he drove away. Snif. I am blessed to have him. Like me, he has his quirks and faults. But he really does care about me and does everything he can to make me happy. He is a good man, and I truly thank God for him in my life.

Like Holli said in one of her posts, tomorrow I'm sure I'll be mad at him for one reason or another, but today, I'm just being grateful.

Well, off I go. Time for the morning rush. Hope you are having a good Friday morning! It's still raining, but at least the sun is shining in my heart some today. How about yours?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm on a Roller Coaster: Want to Ride, too?

That's just how I feel today. Like I'm on a roller coaster. Non stop emotional hills. Out of control.

Even as I was typing that, a semi went down the hill, and when it applied its brakes, it was freakishly loud, and I just about jumped out of my chair. :)

Anyway, yesterday my contact with the trucking company came back in and picked up my resume. I was jazzed and sure that my next step was out the door.

Last night before I left work my boss defended me to the office grump. It was quite unexpected.

Basically, what happened is, the grump has to provide me with some paperwork in order for me to get part of my job done each week. He can give it to me as early as Wednesday afternoon or as late as Thursday morning. Depending on what kind of mood he is in, he might put off giving me the paperwork as long as possible, so that I have to scramble around Thursday to get all of my work done. In the past, I have asked him to give me the paperwork on Wednesday (especially when Bipsy is gone), because I knew I just couldn't get everything done otherwise.

Yesterday I decided not to say anything to him, because it wasn't worth the hassle. I figured I would just do what I could do and let the rest go.

I was walking down the hallway, and the office grump had turned off his lights and was readying himself to leave for the day. He always leaves a couple of hours earlier than I do. He's rapidly approaching retirement and he's getting a jump start on it to make sure it suits him, I guess.

Anyway, my head boss stopped me on the way down the hallway, and asked if the grump provided me with the paperwork I needed. I told him that I did not have the paperwork. He asked me if I had requested the paperwork. I, again, said no.

He said, "okay." So I hear him in the hallway talking to the office grump, with a firm voice. Not too much later, the office grump hurumphed his way out the front door, grumbling that the paperwork I needed was on the desk.

Later my boss came out and said he wanted to let me know that he didn't expect me to stop what I was doing and take care of that paperwork, but that he felt I should have it available to me if I needed it and decided to work on it. He said he was not going to put up with the grump's s---, because it was petty.

I was so shocked, because my boss is usually so non confrontational. But I felt validated and borderline appreciated.

If you're not asleep yet, the roller coaster continues:

I got a call later from the trucking company customer service manager. He said he was very interested in hiring me, but that he was concerned that my current wage was not "consistent" with the company's starting wage. No kidding! It was $5 less per hour than what I make now! I had to decline going in for an interview. If I got laid off, I could draw unemployment and do better than that! Besides, my kids are getting into a habit of eating, which they'd kind of like to continue doing. :)

So, that's a no go for sure.

Where does that leave me now? Was I not hearing from God? Am I not supposed to leave here? Or just not yet? What now? Do I keep putting my resume out there? Or just live with the way things are? I don't know.

To top it all off, my birth mother would have turned 59 tomorrow. My Aunt Marlene, her twin, turns 59 tomorrow. Yesterday, Aunt Marlene had her surgery on her nose. It all went well. Two days before her birthday; what a present. Geez! At least she's okay, and they already reconstructed her nose. She goes back in Monday for a recheck. Anyway, back to the birthdays:

Coincidentally, my mother-in-law, Shirley, turns 60 tomorrow. I know, my mother and my mother-in-law have the same birthday. Strange.

The 20th is also my friend Tracy's birthday. The 19th is my nephew's birthday. My friend's twins were born on October 18th. Hallmark loves me in October! Thank God for calendars to remind me of these events or I'd go loopy!

Anyway, mom's birthday has bounced around in the back of my head all day. Last year, she was alive on her birthday. This will be the first birthday since she passed.

What's weird is all week I've had my dates mixed up. On the 16th, I thought it was the 17th, and so on. I kept thinking today is the 20th all day. I kept thinking that I would have to put off giving Shirley her scrapbook until later in the weekend, because I have a little work left to do on it. And yet, today is NOT the 20th! For crying out loud, it's the friggin 19th! Geez! Tomorrow I get to live the 20th all over again. ;) Like "Groundhog Day."

Anyway, all that rambling is just to say: I don't know what to do. I am sure I am going to meet myself coming in when I am going out. I feel a bit like my life is out of control.

I sure wish I had some clear cut guidance. Or a stiff drink at this point. :)

Have a good night, all. It's off to run a few errands. Fun! At least it stopped raining....

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Is Blogging Before Coffee A Good Idea?

Clearly not. Anorher rainy day? Geez! My internal spell check was still asleep. What a goof! ;)

Another Rainy Day

Well, it's still rainy, and I find this ironic: I am only 34 years old, and I am achey. My back, especially. Does it have anything to do with the rain? I don't know. Could be coincidence? I've been achey for three days and it's been raining for three days. Hmmm....

Last night the account rep. for the trucking company came by work to drop off an application. Another irony: no one was there but me. My boss has been staying until five or later, and yet I was the only one in the office when he stopped by. My boss had some meetings, and the office grump had an appointment. We were able to talk freely, without whispering or worrying we'd be overheard. I was just amazed at the timing.

Anyway, the rep may have a job for me in customer service if I am interested. He is picking my application and resume back up this morning. I can't get away for an interview this week, but next week looks promising. I am seriously going to look at all angles before I jump ship, but I have noticed everything is lining up for me, without me having to do anything. Is that a sign? I have to say sometimes these signs fall out of the sky and hit me in the head.

A couple of weeks back, I said, driving in the car, "God, if it's time for me to move on, let me know. I'm so confused." The next day the crap hit the fan. That's one time that the sign came spiraling out of the sky and bonked me on the head. ;) So, we'll see where this all leads.....

Are you having a good day where you are?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dark and Rainy Tuesday

It's really dark and rainy outside. Kind of just an all around yucky looking day. Again, I am procrastinating, putting off going in until the very last minute.

I am trying to look at the bright side of things today:

-The kids got on the bus with very little bickering.

-I am going to wear my favorite jeans today.

-I'm enjoying a few quiet moments before my rat race begins.

-Last night I got a great deal of work done on my mother-in-law's birthday scrapbook. That, and several loads of laundry.

-Jo and I are taking care of our neighbor's dog this week. Jo is so good with the dog; She is an old girl, about 16, I think. Jo babies her and loves on her. It makes me proud!

Those are some things that I am happy about today. How about you? What's good in your world today?

Okay! Gotta go!

Off I go to shower, dress, and run out the door so I can make it to work on time.

Have a great day! We're one day closer to Friday! Yipee!

Monday, October 16, 2006

It's Still Monday, but At Least it's Flying By

It's not been as bad a day so far as it started out. Because I've been so busy, the day is flying past. Rob brought me some Chinese food for lunch. My favorite: General Tsao's (sp?) chicken with white rice. It was spicy and yummy! He has been so sweet and supportive during this job stuff.
It's quiet around here, because not only is Bipsy out (although I do miss her) one of the supervisors is out. He's a grump, so him being gone on a Monday is a big plus.
Now I thought I'd share a quick picture that someone sent me via email a while ago. The critters are napping, which is what I'd like to be doing right now. It's so warm and toasty in the office, and I am full of Chinese food....I could sleep all afternoon!
Work calls! I will stop by your blogs later today, and see what's up in your lives! Have a great afternoon!

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Hanging Around, Nothing to do but Frown.....

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down...
Okay, sometimes Mondays are great. Here lately, they stink worse than 10 day old sweaty socks stuffed in the bottom of a teenage boys' locker. And that's stinky.
I don't want to go to work today, so I am procrastinating. But then I'll have to rush, because Bipsy is off and I have to be there ON TIME.
Josh and Jess spent the morning bickering. Josh woke up on the wrong side of the bed (as usual) and was cranky all morning. I ended up bickering with him until I made him go outside and wait for the bus. It's like 57 degrees outside, so I am relatively certain he didn't freeze.
That's the second sigh of the day. It's going to be another long week. ;)
Hope your week is starting out better!
Here: Have a cup of coffee, and we'll chat. Want to? I may even be able to scrape up some muffins or bagels and cream cheese. We'll conquer this Manic Monday yet....

Friday, October 13, 2006

My Week

I was reading Neicy's post about Dante's writing about the various levels of hell....and I think I've lived in one or two of them this week. Boy, am I glad it's Friday.

To say it's been a long week is like saying water is a bit on the wet side. ~Weary sigh.~

Right now the kids are all at a football game. First, they went to Ashley's 16th birthday party. Happy Birthday, Ashley! Ashley is Deb's daughter, and not only is Deb my friend, but my kids are friends with her kids. After the party, they all went to the game.

Deb played chauffer today. She's picked up, dropped off and then all over again. I am so blessed by that! I thank God for her every day. And today more than once! I have been so exhausted I don't know which way is up.

Next week Bipsy will be on vacation in Las Vegas. After she comes back and gets caught up a bit, I plan on making a serious effort to find a newer, better job. Keep praying!

I don't remember if I mentioned that one of the sales reps for one of our largest freight companies (the one we use the most) offered to take me to the human resource department where he is employed and say, "find a job for this lady." He's a good Christian man who I've had the privelage of working with on freight issues for about 4 years.

Next week, he's physically bringing an application to me because he knows it's been hard for me to get away with my new responsibilities. He loves his job, and it shows. I've heard great things about this company, and to top it off, its largest location is 4 miles from my house. (Yep, smack dab in the middle of a cornfield. NOTHING is four miles from my house!) :) I'm not sure if this is the place for me, but it is great location, and the company is a strong one whose employees (all that I've met) speak highly of. Who knows?

Meanwhile, today at work I kinda stood up for myself in my non-confrontational way.
My head boss was saying, "Kris, I need you to do this and that, and I could use your help with this and that. This went on all day. Has all week. It was like four o'clock. He said "You know, we can always take a look at this next week. It's getting late."

Finally, I said, "You know, if it's something urgent that really needs to be addressed right away, maybe I should take a look at it now. Next week Bispsy is going to be out, and it's going to be all I can do to keep up with everything." He said, "Oh, that's right. I forgot about that. Okay, let's address it the following week."

Later, he was getting some paperwork ready to be faxed, and he said to Bipsy, "If you wonder what I'm doing, I'm just getting a couple of huge projects together for Kris to work on next week." then he smiled, to see if I took him seriously.

Really, the truth is, he really isn't a bad guy. He is really nice, in fact. I know he's just trying to keep the business in the family. Heck, if anyone, I know what it feels like to want to keep a part of the family together by holding on to something...like this house. It's old, it's got some quirks, but this is where I was raised. This is the handiwork of my grandpa. Losing it would have been like losing him in my mind.

I know my boss will do anything to keep his family's business running. Too bad our goals are counterproductive. He has to pay me (and others) less to do more to make his family business run. I have to keep my house payments both paid, and making less doesn't fit into that equation. I can't even be a good Mom or wife if I come home exhausted every night, trying to keep up.

There's got to be something else out there for me.
My friend, Tracy, graciously had me email my resume to her, so she could look at it. She says she will be keeping her eyes and ears open for any job leads. What a blessing! I am surrounded by such sweet and caring people.

Including Rob. Two days this week he had hot baths waiting for me...and dinner...when I got home. The one night we didn't have hot water (turned out to be something minor with our (new) hot water tank, and my friend, Terry, fixed it without incident). However, that night, Rob boiled water and filled up the bathtub so I could take a hot bath. He knows when I'm stressed, a hot bath relaxes me. He gave the kids, "No arguing or fighting tonight; Everyone on their best behavior tonight, because Mom is stressed out" speech.

Tonight he made me a pina coloda shake with dinner, and we watched "Must Love Dogs." He gave me a stack of dvds and said, "Pick what you want to watch out of these." He buys me dvds all the time. Every time I mention, "I've heard such and such movie was good," he goes out and buys it previously viewed. I have a lot of movies that I've never watched because I never have time. I'm glad I was able to destress by watching a chick flick. :) Sometimes I fuss because he spends too much money on dvds, I think, but tonight was not one of those times. I just enjoyed the movie and some alone time...and rare cuddle time.

Off the subject, though, our friends tease us that we should open a video/dvd store in our little village. We'd have a monopoly out here! Every time one of them says, "I'd like to see this movie or that movie," I say, "We have that one." Since there are no stores and nothing to do for miles, maybe we should open a movie rental shop! If we did that, we'd be rich in no time! ;) Ha!

Anyway, I digress. My point is, he really looked out for me this week, and I appreciate it. Leaving somewhere after 8 years is hard...especially a job that I've always liked. I am so blessed to have his support.

Okay, it's almost eleven and I'm tired. I have to work our shop tomorrow while Rob works overtime, so I'd better get to bed. After the shop, I plan to come home and play catch up. I have a bunch of scrapbook stuff to organize, and I need to work on my mother-in-law's scrapbook. Only 6 days until her birthday! Ugh!

Hope you have a great weekend! I miss all you guys, my blogger friends! I miss some of my non blogger friends, too! Geez! I feel like a recluse!

Before I go: I just want to give a shout out to Sheila, and thank her for her help this week. She knows how she blessed me, and I hope she is blessed a hundredfold. Also, she's been having some stomach issues, so I'd like to request prayer for her on that. She may have to have a colonoscopy. It may be Crohn's(SP?)disease.

Further, my Uncle Ron and Aunt Pat both need some prayers for their health. Uncle Ron has a sinus infection and Aunt Pat is to have some experimental treatments done to her knees. It is also next week that my Aunt Marlene has her sugery on her nose to remove the cancer. I am praying that God comforts and sustains them through these difficulties.

Again, all my love to my blogger peeps: Neicy, Ellie, J.F., P.J., Pat, and my dual action friends Holli and Deb...who are both real life and bloggerville peeps. I love you all! :) Blessings for a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Taking Time for a Laugh

The neighbor's display made me laugh this evening. If you can't tell, it's a man (a plumber?) ;) who fell off his bike on the way to work. :) Oh, what a hoot! It gave me a chuckle when I most needed it! Jo took the pictures, which impressed me. He did such a good job!

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I want to thank Ellie for the cute e-card, Holli for the card via snail mail, and all the well wishes and positive thoughts from my blogger (and non blogger) friends. Nothing has really changed yet, but I do have a lead on a job. Keep praying.

The Synopsis

In short, I am still working at the same place, but I am physically and emotionally drained. I come home tired and completely worn out. I have been too busy to think of late, and certainly not able to blog.

All of you are on my mind and in my heart BIG TIME. I hope to post at length this weekend and get caught up on your lives.

Until then, blessings to each of you! Love you guys!

Monday, October 9, 2006

A Quick Hello

Hope everyone is doing well out there in bloggerville. I'm here, and I'm sitting at my home computer, debating if I want to go to work or not. I guess I should decide, since it's 7:26 a.m., and I haven't even started to get ready yet. I'm supposed to be at work at eight. My clothes are laid out, but I don't feel like getting ready.

Sigh. I'll end up going in. It's another day, another dollar.

I will try to check in this evening to see how everyone is doing.

Be well!

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Some Big Changes

Effective today, some big changes are taking place in my life.

I have been employed for 8 years and 2 months at my current place of employment. I have spent approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of my waking life there since I started in 1998. My youngest son, who will be 9 in November, does not remember me working anywhere else. This has been my home away from home. I have lived in 4 different residences since I started working there.

As of roughly 1 an hour ago, I am actively looking for another job. I've felt this coming for a while, but I've been trying to fool myself and bury my head in the sand. I have had so much change in my life over the last few years, I was hoping that I would not have to make my job yet another change.

I will only be posting either in the early mornings or in the late evenings for awhile. I am going to be very busy at work for now. One of my coworkers that started just 3 months after me in the fall of 1998 has been laid off. I will be expected to pick up many of his responsibilities while he is off.

Any of my Ohio friends...ones who know me personally: please keep your eyes and ears open for job openings. For all my praying blogger friends: please pray for the right doors to open. I may need an ear now and then, and maybe even some advice.

Prior to this job, I was a waitress. Since I have been working in this office, I have done accounting, payroll, payroll taxes, billing, office correspondence; I opened mail, answered phones, provided customer service, worked with human resource issues, safety issues, etc., etc. I have been told many times by various friends that I was underpaid compared to others in comparable jobs. I have kept on working where I am out of convenience, comfort and perhaps a need for security. No more. I know now that I have to do what I need to do for ME.

I have always liked my job. However, I have given far too much of myself in an attempt to please my boss. I have worked sick, when I desperately needed time off, when my kids really needed me. I cancelled vacation days to come in because no one else could. I put off medical care and even surgery in order to make sure my job was covered. I was a devoted and faithful employee. Now it's time to be loyal to me, and put my needs ahead of the company. I have given too much already.

Off I go to search the internet for job postings! Here goes nothing!

Employee Evaluation Comments: Another Email Forward

I got this email yesterday, and the comments gave me a good chuckle. Hope you get a chuckle as well. ;) (Holli, I think you got this forward, too.)

For everyone who has ever had an evaluation - just remember, it could have been worse. These are actual quotes taken from employee performance evaluations.

1. "Since my last report, this employee has reached rock-bottom and has started to dig."

2. "I would not allow this employee to breed."

3. "This employee is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definite won't be."

4. "Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap."

5. "When he opens his mouth, it seems that it is only to change feet."

6. "This young lady has delusions of adequacy."

7. "He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them."

8. "This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot."

9. "This employee should go far, and the sooner he starts the better."

10. "Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thingy to hold it all together."

11. "A gross ignoramus - 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus."

12. "He doesn't have ulcers, but he's a carrier."

13. "I would like to go hunting with him sometime."

14. "He's been working with glue too much."

15. "He would argue with a signpost."

16. "He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room."

17. "When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell."

18. "If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he's the other one."

19. "A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on."

20. "A prime candidate for natural de-selection."

21. "Donated his brain to science before he was done using it."

22. "Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming."

23. "He's got two brains cells, one is lost and the other is out looking for it."

24. "If he were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week."

25. "If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you'd get change."

26. "If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean."

27. "It's hard to believe he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm."

28. "One neuron short of a synapse."

29. "Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled."

30. "Takes him 2 hours to watch 60-minutes."

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Two Hundred Posts

This is humbling to me...two hundred posts on my blog. Since July 2004. As I type, I am reminded of how many people I have come to know through this blog....how many prayers have been answered since I started this thing....how much has happened. I am so honored to know each and every one of my fellow bloggers...and thankful that we have shared laughs over the miles...said prayers for one another, offered support, passed on tidbits of information and a few jokes. We've smiled at one another's pictures and formed our own community of sorts.

A few quick notes: My friend, Sandy S., called yesterday to tell me that her husband, Joe is home and doing well. He is even up and about, not even feeling weak. He will have some further tesing, but is very much on the mend. She sends many thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

Josh is doing great. The cut is healing nicely...and he got his way...no doctor. I did have him sit out for gym today. Maybe tomorrow, too. Otherwise, he's up and at 'em.

I also want to send out congratulations to my friend, Sandy B., who is a grandma for the 6th and 7th time in the last few days! Up until this week, she had 5 grandchildren...all grandsons. October has been good to her! Two new grandbabies were born...both girls. One to her son and daughter-in-law here in Ohio, and one to her son and daughter-in-law in Colorado. How exciting! That's reason to celebrate...and scrapbook! ;)

On my way home from work today I decided to use my video feature a bit on my camera. It will record as much video as I have memory space on my disk. I decided, though I couldn't hold the camera as steady as I would like- to share this video, along with a story.

This video is of some horses on a big stretch of land about 3/4 of a mile from my house. I love driving past this land, and watching the horses graze. They are lovely, friendly horses and have plenty of personality! My friend, Wyn, was in town last year and was taking her morning jog on this quiet country road. She jogged past these horses, and halfway past the field, she got a strange feeling she was being followed. She looked into the field, and the horses were following along with her, keeping pace with her; casually trotting along the fenceline, giving her some company. She cracked up laughing, having never been joined in any of her jogs by curious horses.

Anyway, here is the video: it's a short clip...please forgive the unsteadiness....I was trying to drive about 10 mph and film, which isn't as easy as it sounds. One day I'll try to film the beautiful creatures closer...and not in my car.

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Is it Friday yet?

I'm tired. Yesterday I came to work early...5:45 a.m..... and I left at 3 in the afternoon...two hours early.

"This way," thought me, "I can go home, clean, do some laundry, then maybe go to bed early." HA!

I didn't stop running until I fell in to bed at 11 p.m. Sigh. I am tired today. Plus I'm a little achey.

It seemed like I had a hundred little errands to run. Then Rob asked me to go grocery shopping with him....which is a rare thing indeed. He said he missed me and just wanted to spend some time with me, and if we had to go grocery shopping to get some "us" time, it would be worth it. I was pulled in by this rare sweet comment from him and I threw my previous agenda out the window.

So, after I got some of my errands done, we ended up picking up my mother-in-law and we all went to a grocery store Rob and I have never been to in a neighboring town. I am so glad I normally don't have to grocery shop. It's just not my cup of tea. Rob and I did get a lot of chatting in along the way, but mainly just about whether or not the price of peaches was better at the new store or at the one we normally go to. Not much bonding time there.

I was exhausted by the time we got home and put everything away. Dinner was cold cuts for the family and a banana for me.

Tonight I hope to actually go home and do some organizing, as well as laundry...maybe have some quality time with my kids and pets. That is, if they still recognize me and let me in the house... ;)

Here's another cartoon I found when I cleaned out some of my filing at work yesterday: It's just up my alley because it's dripping with sarcasm. I think Alice from Dilbert was modeled after me on a cranky day. ;) Like today, kinda. ;)

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Tuesday, October 3, 2006

I Found the Allergy Cartoon!

I've been looking for this cartoon for a while now. I finally cleaned out my personal filing and found it. Yay for organizing! ;)

It's a Far Side cartoon...and I love Gary Larson's way of thinking, anyway. When I first read this one, I cracked up! I thought, "this is so me! Pretty soon I'm going to have to live in a bubble, but then they'll find out I'm allergic to myself...or to the bubble!" :)

I have to laugh about my allergies, because otherwise when I start thinking about it, I get really bummed. I know my health is good compared to many other folks', so please don't take this as complaining. I have so many more good days than I do bad. I maybe have one or two asthma attacks a YEAR. I've only had to go to the hospital twice out of all the years I've had asthma, and I never had to stay overnight. The only time I get really bad with my breathing is when I have a cold or sinus infection or something. So I am very fortunate, I think.

The thing I hate the most about my allergies is the inconvenience it causes others.

When Rob buys me a gift, he can't buy me jewelry because I can't wear metal. I can't eat tomatoes, so when I go to someone's house for dinner, they often can't fix their signature chili or lasagna or whatever....so many foods are tomato based. Our whole family has had to change the way it eats because fixing one tomato-less dinner is easier than fixing one with and one without.

If I try to be hard headed and do stuff I'm not supposed to, I end up sick for a week (or more) and someone has to pick up my slack. (Such as dusting without a mask or mowing the lawn, etc.) Thank goodness the only food I'm allergic to is tomatoes! The only non-food item I wasn't allergic to when I was tested was down feathers. :) I was allergic to all the other stuff: pollen, mold, dust, cats, dogs, vermin, grass, trees, etc.

There are some things I refuse to part with (such as my pets) and occasionally I crave pizza so much I just pop a Benadryl and eat a slice, anyway. What's life without an occasional slice of pizza? Torture! ;)

I'd so like to change this about myself, but I can't, so I just deal with it. When I can laugh at it, it makes it seem less of a pain in the rear. ;) I think I should donate my body to science after I die. I am sure it contains the cures to half of the world's catastrophic illnesses! ;)

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Worth Coming in Early For

The sunrise this morning was worth coming to work early for. I had a lot of catching up to do this morning....the end of the month and first of the new month can make things a bit more hectic around here. I was working on some typing when I paused and glanced out the window. I had to take a break to get a few shots of this morning's beauty.

I love sunrises and sunsets; I love the colors. I love never knowing what vast array of brilliance is going to greet me next.

This is one of the sunrises that kept changing hues....I could have snapped one picture after another and none of them would have looked exactly the same. I only had our work digital camera, which is a 1.5 mega pixel camera. Its only really good feature is that is has great optical zoom. I think it has 10 x optical zoom. For an old camera, (about 8 years old) that's really good. So, I hope these pictures give some credit to God's handiwork today.

I left my camera at home on my desk. For me, that's an extreme irritant. I feel like leaving home without my camera is like forgetting to put underwear on. ;) Okay, maybe that's a little extreme. Forgetting to put on underwear...that's ALOT more fun. ;) No! Just kidding! Haha! I'm sorry, I must have not had enough coffee this morning. Or too much... Forget I said that. :) teehee! On to the pictures....

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